Although a necessary appliance in your home, your clothes dryer is relatively simple in design and efficiency. With a life expectancy of 20 years, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), dryers are also quite easy to repair when they have problems.

How It Works

Dryer issues are quite easy to identify because of its simplicity, once you understand how it works. Typically, dryers use three components to complete their job.Clean and Freshen special care clothes

  1. Heat,
  2. Air, and
  3. Motion.

This is an identical combination of features that mimic the way your clothes dry on an outdoor clothesline. The sun, air and natural breezes do their work to dry your newly washed clothes. This is what your dryer does, minus the natural outdoor breeze. The sun produces heat, just like your dryer. The air, outdoor or dryer, moving through your wet clothes, along with the natural or artificial heat, evaporates the moisture in your clothes.

The heating element, instead of the sun, surrounds your drenched clothing in the dryer drum. If you haven't chosen a timed dry setting, modern dryers turn themselves off when your clothes are 90 percent dry. Should your dryer have the "automatic" drying option, do not use the timed dry option, so you don't risk over- or under-drying your clothing.

Changing Your Dryer Settings

Even older dryers should have a few setting options that treat different clothing types effectively and safely. Change your settings when you your clothes or goals are different from "cotton sturdy," a common option. You should think about and change your dryer settings logically and sensibly.

  • Cotton is durable and, for things like your white gym socks, underwear and T-shirts, will get them dry and fluffy.
  • Knits and delicates can be damaged by using a "cotton" or other similar setting. When you want to dry knits or other delicate items, choose this option as it includes much lower heat and agitation.
  • Air dry settings will clean and freshen special care clothes. This setting is useful when you want to protect extremely delicate items or to freshen dry clean only clothing. Use this setting with WOOLITE┬« At-Home Dry Cleaner for the best results and skip the dry cleaner.

Even the newest and most modern dryers may require that you remove odors from clothes at times. There are easy ways to do this.

  • Never leave clothes in the dryer for long periods; remove them promptly after drying.
  • Clean your filter and exhaust hose frequently as, along with clothing "fuzzies," filters and hoses can capture smells.
  • Use freshening products during and after drying.

Changing your dryer settings to match the type of clothing in the load is critical to properly protecting and drying your clothes in each load. For example, drying "permanent press" dress shirts, use the knit/delicate setting for only 10 to 15 minutes. This keeps the shirts a bit moist. Take them out quickly and hang them. You'll find they will dry without the wrinkles a too hot, fully dry cycle can produce.